Cambridge is under intense confusion about whether to take the exams in November 2020 series or not as already the Covid-19 had badly affected the academic activities throughout the world. The students had to face a huge loss in their academic performance due to this pandemic. So, now to cover all of this huge loss some of the countries are planning to reopen their schools or they are trying to adopt a variety of teaching approaches. The Cambridge family has also been trying to resume all of their activities and trying to bring various resources and guidance to improve their progress. These resources and guidance will help them to gather information regarding the progress of their learners and will help them in providing the knowledge and proof of their learning.
Due to this pandemic situation, everyone had to learn things through e-learning. So the experience of teaching and learning of everyone would be different from one another. As now many countries are resuming their academic activities and if the students are returning to school, then there are some gaps in the student’s learning that the schools have to address. Keeping in mind this critical situation, the Cambridge had deferred their June 2020 exams to November 2020. Now as they have to conduct the exams so they have to make various strategies to conduct the exams smoothly without any kind of trouble. Firstly, they are trying to help their exams officers by keeping them up-to-date regarding all the administrative changes to the June and November 2020 series. To achieve this they introduced monthly support webinars. The main function of the webinars is to summarize all of the latest information of Cambridge and to give advice on administering exams and they also have to answer all the questions that exams officers ask their Customer Services team.
Now, in such an intense condition the Cambridge International is under great confusion that either to take the exams in the November 2020 series or not. And they believe to take exams most fairly and reliably. They know that these exams will help them to assess the achievement of the students and schools. Many schools are trying to adapt all of the deterioration caused by this disease, hence they are trying to be more flexible so that they can support students and teachers. This will also help the students and the teachers to complete their coursework and to help students to give exams in a safe and secure environment. The Cambridge international is still working on providing a guide to the schools so that the exams of November 2020 can be run smoothly.
The regional teams of the Cambridge international are trying to build contact with their affiliated schools and are continuously trying to follow the advice from government authorities throughout the world on whether the schools have to be open and should the exams have to be held in October/November. Schools are advised to follow local regulation and health advice, and any school that cannot be able to conduct exams safely will be able to defer their entries to the next exam series. They have also decided that if most of the candidates can’t be able to sit in the exams series of November 2020, then they have to switch the exams to the ‘assessed grade’ methodology, which is similar to the June 2020 series throughout the world. As their main priority is to keep the students and the teacher’s safe and will help the students to get on their academic journeys as soon as possible. To conduct exams the Cambridge international has designed a guide having different phases regarding the Cambridge Exams Cycle.
For Cambridge International, the safety of the students and colleagues is more important than conducting exams. So, they are trying to provide multiple options to their students as they believe that if the conditions will not be safe to conduct the exams during the November 2020 series then exams will be further delayed to the next exam series. To conduct exams they first have to take permission from both national and local governments. If they allow them to take exams then they will conduct exams following safety measurements. Furthermore, they have to make sure that all the SOPs will properly be followed like social distancing and hygiene procedures. If any country is under complete lockdown then it’s difficult to conduct exams over there, then the students reappear in the next exam series.
To run the November 2020 exams smoothly, the Cambridge international had been trying to design a guide for their exam officers and heads of the centers. They tried to make this guide easier and understandable and had structured it into different phases of the Cambridge exams cycle.
Phase 1: Preparation
In this phase, the exams officers and the heads of the centers have to manage the complete exam timetable by keeping the social distancing arrangements. They have to use more rooms for proper supervision and to maintain social distancing which means that they have to fit fewer students in a large room as compare to the normal one. They need more trained supervisors to properly observe the students during the exams. They also have to keep hand sanitizers in every room, and they have to properly clean the rooms before and after the exam.
Phase 2: Entries
During this pandemic situation, the most difficult task is to send the question papers to the respective center but first schools have to submit their entries to the Cambridge by the deadlines which are as follows:
16 August (international centers)
21 September (UK centers)
21 September (international and UK centers)
Phase 3: Before the exam
Before exams, the schools have to submit the forecast grades and internally assessed marks. Once the centers receive the exam papers then the security and storing of papers are very important. If the schools are trying to take speaking tests then they have to take various steps by keeping the safety of both the students and the supervisors in mind. However, if they are thinking of taking physical exams then they have to take various measures to make the students feel safe during their exams.
Phase 4: Exam Day
All the SOPs must have to be followed during the exam day. All the supervisors and the students have to cover their faces with masks and have to sanitize their hands properly before entering the exam room. At the end of the exam, the student has to leave all of their exam material on the desk before leaving the exam room.
To avoid the loss of students Cambridge is trying to provide multiple options to different countries and allow them to follow the ones that are favorable to them according to the current situation. Above mentioned are some of the strategies that Cambridge international had designed to facilitate their students who are willing to give exams in the November series and they keep all the safety of teachers and students in mind. But they still will allow their students to appear in the next exams series if they want to defer this November 2020 series due to this intense condition.